A teen fisherman from Australia got more than he bargained for over the weekend when he battled a huge shark for several hours before reeling it in.
Max Muggeridge, 19, from Coomera in Queensland, Australia, was camping at Tweed Heads, just across the New South Wales border with his girlfriend, when the couple decided to go for an early morning fish.
An avid fisherman, Max couldn’t believe his luck when a huge 13-foot tiger shark took a bite of his line. Little did he know that he would spend the next three hours trying to bring the beast to shore. (Scroll down for the video.)
1. Max Muggeridge, 19, from Australia’s Gold Coast caught this 13-foot tiger shark on the weekend.
Max told The Daily Mail:
Three hours on the rod and reel, it was both physically and mentally exhausting.
It definitely challenged my mindset and whether I had the perseverance to push through
We were just about to reel our rods in. I started my car up and then my rod started ticking over.
2. He reeled in the monster on the Tweed coast just inside the NSW border, after a three-hour battle.
The teen, who describes himself as “a shark conservationist first and foremost”, added that the three-hour battle left him with some serious battle wounds. He said:
I was absolutely shattered, I had blood blisters all over my hands, I’ve got some nice callouses coming up now.
From the time he hooked the fish just after 7 am, to the time he hauled it in at around 10.30 am, Max said it was a constant battle.
He described the ordeal in great detail on Facebook and admitted that at times he wasn’t sure if he had the strength to reel the giant fish in.
3. The massive creature is one of the largest tiger sharks ever caught off a beach, according to Max.
The first hour this shark absolutely made a mockery out of me.
I was hurting bad, really bad. I’ve never been in so much pain. Sun burning in my face, shocking burns and blisters all over my hands, sweat and sunscreen dripping into my eyes, and my whole body aching from holding the intense pressure for such an extended time.
Thoughts crossed my head like I can’t do this, It’s too big, I’m not prepared enough, I’m on my own…
4. The huge struggle with the shark left his antique fishing rod bent slightly out of shape.
Max said that he didn’t even get a good look of the shark until the second hour, “when it jumped out of the water!!! What a sight, I have never seen that before!”
The teen spoke to Nine’s Today show on Thursday morning and told the program that he knew what he was up for about “20 seconds in… it definitely shocked me and my girlfriend (who) I was fishing with”. He added:
It absolutely blew everything I’ve ever caught out of the water so it was once in a lifetime catch.
Max said that he thinks his shark could have been close to the world record and he wished he could have measured it accurately.
5. The 19-year-old said the catch was a once in a lifetime opportunity.
Max told The Gold Coast Bulletin:
The current catch and release world record tiger shark held by Joey Polk is 10 foot eight inches (3.25m) in fork length and 12 foot 9 inches (3.88m) overall length.
Max said he decided to release the shark rather than measure it to prove the record because the fish was in distressed after being landed.
Pictures show the young man in the shallows with the shark, dwarfed by the huge fish.
Photographed by his girlfriend Alexia, Max explained that she was taking photos of him while he was getting the fish back in the water and out to safety.
Max described his catch as a life-long goal, adding that by the end of the struggle he was completely exhausted.
6. Max believes it could have been world record size but he wasn’t able to accurately measure the beast.
7. After getting a quick measurement of the huge creature, Max sent it back out to sea.
I collapsed on the beach and tried taking it all in. I had just achieved everything I had ever set out to. It was surreal. The time was 10.30am, meaning I was on the rod and reel for over 3 hours.
Apart from the exhaustion and battle wounds, Max also bent his antique rod during the struggle, but said he wouldn’t change it for anything.
Asked about the danger of fighting such a huge shark, Max said he wasn’t too concerned. He told The Daily Mail:
You take your chances, I’ve been around enough sharks to have a basic understanding of how they work.
But at the end of the day you are dealing with a wild animal.
8. Max is pictured here watching the huge creature swim back out into the ocean.
9. A teen catches a 13-foot shark after an epic three-hour battle.
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